Friday, August 26, 2011

We Are Getting Very Close to Game Week!!!

Well, some of the players came to the window today and told me that I looked a little stressed. Dang, I can't fool them anymore! The good news is that I am barely stressed, and the even better news is that I am NOT stressed out.

Fortunately, we have very fun jobs that are incredibly rewarding and enjoyable, but there are times where the stress level can sneak up on you.

Today we broke out some game shoes for the players to start working in and breaking in for the NAU game. Even though we issued them the exact shoes they have been wearing all camp, AND even though we have been communicating with them all camp about what they want to wear and what is most comfortable and perform the best.....we still have almost a quarter of the team come up to the window before practice and either tweaked sizes, or changed styles of shoes all together. Fortunately, we were able to accommodate all of their request.

Tomorrow will be a long day of work, and every single minute will be focused on getting ready for our first game of the season against a very good and TOUGH team, the Lumberjacks of NAU. It is always fun to play the Lumberjacks because that means I get to see one of my favorite equipment managers in the business, George Fox. It is always great to visit with George. I always learn something when I visit with George.

Below are some pictures from yesterday's practice.

Defensive scouts are doing their best to make it tough on our kickers on FG's and PAT's:

Robert Lloyd and others are working with QB's during special teams practice:
Colby Matzke, from McKinney, TX works with Coach Kish and the linebackers. Colby is in his first season as a student manager, but in his second year as a student at the UofA.

Dane Schrader, from Monterrey, CA snaps to our QB's during passing drills. This is Dane's first season as a manager, second year in school a UofA:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Introducing Some of the New Faces

There have been some changes with our football equipment operations over the off season, and I have taken on a much more involved role with the day to day operations. I am very fortunate to have so many good people around me in this overall operation, so this transition has been really smooth.

With football moving into the new North End Zone facility in a couple of years, I decided to move some responsibilities around. Of course, with baseball leaving McKale, that has factored in to the thinking as well.

With all of this said, I feel very good about what we have going on and where we are going with our equipment operation. One thing is for sure, we did a GREAT job of bringing in some new managers. With 5 of them true freshman, the future is really bright; and with the senior leaders we have this year, those new freshmen are being trained by some of the best!

We start off each practice with special teams. Jordan Gobel, one of our senior leaders, is once again coordinating special teams practice with Coach Hammerschmidt.

Benny Conger has really stepped up this year and has made a huge impact on our football equipment operations. He is an extremely popular and fun guy to have in the program. All of us, including the coaches and players, love working with Benny.

One of our very trusted senior leaders, Mike Barnett, has saved the day for us with his new found knowledge of our new practice clock from Coach Comm. Mike Stoops watches our practice clock very close and he depends on us to make sure we stay on time. The clock is AWESOME, but the operator, Mike, is even better! Mike has worked with the manufacturer directly with any questions or problems we may have had with the new clock and has made sure we stay on time each day.

Joe Xavier is a freshman from the Bay Area in California. Joe came highly recommended from one of our past student managers, Colin Jordan. Colin did many great things for us as a student manager, but sending Joe to us has to be one of the best things he has ever done.

Robert Lloyd, another one of our senior leaders, is once again hustling around on the practice field. Robert is once again working with Coach Scelfo and the Quarterbacks. Robert worked with us all summer in the equipment room, and we would not have made it this summer without him. He has turned out to be one of the best I have ever worked with.

Kristen Javens (pictured with white cap on), is a freshman from Chicago, IL. She works with Coach Salave'a on the practice field.

Amber Sipe (holding the stick ball) is a freshman from CDO H.S. here in Tucson. She works along side veteran, Jordan Gobel (pictured) with the defensive line.

Brennan Smith is a freshman from here in Tucson. She went to Pusch Ridge Christian. She works with the defensive backs, along side David Bodzin, a veteran from Dallas Texas.

Jeremy Rosenthal (left) and Jordan Aronson (right) are both new to the program. Jeremy is originally from here in Tucson (Catalina Foothills HS), and spent time with the Oklahoma Sooners; Jordan is from Boston MA and is a freshman. Jeremy is assisting with practices only.

Benny and new full time assistant, Mike Valentine, talk things over during practice. Mike comes to us from Southern Illinois......the Salukies! He is orignially from Indianapolis, IN and has also spent time at Tulane University. We are very fortunate to have Mike on our team. He fits in perfectly!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School for the Wildcats

Well, after a long break, and very quick and short summer, I am finally going to try to get going on the blog again.

I truly appreciate all the emails, facebook messages, phone calls and personal comments from many of you that have said they miss the blog. I never realized how many people read and enjoyed the blog.

I can not remember the last time I have had so much fun being an equipment manager! I have been extremely busy, but every minute of it has been extremely enjoyable.

I have decided to start our transition move a little earlier than expected. There have been some changes in our department, and with us moving into a football only equipment room in the future over at the stadium, we were going to have to change our way of operations eventually. As mentioned, there have been some changes, and one of the big ones was the announcement of baseball moving to Hi Corbett which is off campus.

I have decided to make some changes of sport responsibilities within our staff, so I have been extremely busy all summer long with the changes.

I am happy to report that the past few weeks with training camp have been really smooth! It always helps when you have GREAT people around you. Our student managers have been OUTSTANDING since they arrived for work back on July 29. We return 5 seniors, and added 8 new managers. We have 5 new freshman to UofA as managers, and all of us in the equipment room couldn't be any happier with those 5 additions.

They are: Jordan Aronson from Boston, MA.; Kristen Javens from Chicago, IL; Amber Sipe from CDO High School, right here in Tucson; Brennan Smith, from Pusch Ridge Christian also here in Tucson; and Joe Xavier from San Francisco, CA.

Our other three new to the program were already students here at the UofA, but new as football student managers. They are: Derek Janssen from Illinois (he has worked in the equipment room with Benny Conger helping with Basketball and Baseball for the past few years); Colby Matzke from Texas, and Dan Schrader from Monterrey, CA.

These 8 new managers join an AWESOME group of returners, which are showing incredible leadership throughout camp. These five are: Michael Barnett from New City, NY; David Bodzin from Texas; Jordan Gobel from Chicago, IL; Robert Lloyd from San Francisco, CA; and Billy Worthington of Brophy H.S. in Phoenix, AZ.

I hope to start blogging with more regularity, along with always popular pictures. As usual, I am very excited about the upcoming season. Thanks again for all the encouraging comments about the blog. I am glad that there is more than a couple of people that look at the blog each day.